Platinum Games Head Atsushi Inaba stated: “we don’t want to be typecast or ever be in a position where we have to copy something else – even if it’s our own games.” While Platinum Games has stated that they are eager to show what other kinds of games they can make outside of their trademark spectacle action style, I can’t help but be a little sad that they might be abandoning their fast-paced take on action games. However I do believe that what they have achieved is not simply the formula for action games, but a style that has been formed by their extreme control of fast paced yet polished gameplay. An ability to create accessible and empowering experiences that hides extremely deep, robust and complex mechanics for those who would like to really test themselves. Since they expressing their eagerness to test out new waters, here are some genres that I hope they re-imagine with their signature flair.
Okay, so this may be cheating for a bit, but since it was so underappreciated, I feel as it deserves another mention. Yes, Platinum Games have made a shooter game before, and yes it was very distinctly “Platinum Games-y” but it never took off as well as their other games and I think the concept deserves to be revisited. For those who don’t remember, Vanquish originally came out for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2007 and recently ported wonderfully to PC in 2017. When it came out, it was part of an over-saturated market where tough space dudes were everywhere and it was getting hard to remember every space marine game coming out at the time, but when revisiting it today, it totally still holds ups. While being a cover shooter, Vanquish still encourages the same amount of aggression from their other games. Hiding and taking pop shots from safe cover is still possible, but far from the optimal way to play, you can vault over cover in slow-mo, speed slide pass bullets and shoot explosives through the air all at once. The tools given to you allowed to rake up combos just like Bayonetta, but within a shooter instead. It was a beautiful amalgamation of mechanics that made sure that you played this game not the typical cover shooter way, but the Platinum way. Sadly, the low popularity meant that this game remains one of a kind for now, but with Platinum Games going towards publishing their own games, I really hope that they revisit and polish this marriage once more.
2. Turn Based Combat
Now if anyone can make turn-based combat bombastic and evolve it from its classic formula, it would be Platinum Games. While they did have a taste of tactical real-time gameplay with Infinite Space, their lesser known DS game, there really isn’t much to think about here. Take one of the most traditional and slow paced combat systems, but make it Platinum. I’m not sure how it would be achieved, but I do know that the mad geniuses there would have an idea how. Persona 5 certainly has made Turn-Based Combat as polished and visually exciting as possible, and countless of others had made their additions to the classic formula but I would like to see how Platinum Games would achieve this. Would it be a implementation of the time bar from Final Fantasy? or perhaps something similar to Trails Series or Divinity with a focus on positioning and Area of Affect Attacks? Whatever it would be, I’m sure we can expect the same mirror sheen polish to expect from them.
3. 3D Platformers
While some of their biggest hits has had some platforming leafed into their games never had we seen a pure platforming game in the vein of Super Mario Odyssey or Banjo-Kazooie. While this seems like an odd marriage of ideas, Platinum Games have always understood tight controls, and depth to their gameplay, while still maintaining a relatively low skill floor. While you can beat Bayonetta by simply mashing buttons and timely parrying, you can also dive into the in-depth and complex combat system that it contains, with a focus on juggling and combos. This kinda of low floor. but high ceiling puts it just in place with other big collectathons. Not to mention the tone of games like Rachet and Clank or Jax and Daxter feel right at home with some of the over-the-top gameplay we know and love from Platinum Games.
While they do not direct as much anymore, Hideki Kamiya and Shinji Mikami, co-founders of PlatinumGames, once created Resident Evil. While Shinji Mikami at this point has moved on to create Bethesda’s studio: Tango Gameworks, I’m sure that Platinum Games could adapt some of his style into their own. The Resident Evil series reboot has been extremely successful with Resident Evil 7 taking in a first- person perspective in a smaller scale setting, and the Resident Evil 2 remake returning to their roots with mind-twisting corridors and stressful camera work, yet modernized with an over-the-shoulder perspective. While I love these new reboots, these games have recently all been about de-powering the player, and slowing down the pace. Horror has found its perfect formula, but I would love to see how it could be either innovated once again with a Platinum Games flair or even see them completely go against type by leaning into these tropes.
This only scratches the surface of what’s possible, maybe we will some of these ideas in their mysterious upcoming game: Babylon’s Fall. Who knows? All I can say is: Platinum Games, keep doing your thing, however you want.